- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Gov. Bill Walker issued a proclamation Wednesday, seeking to force lawmakers to act on his appointments to boards, commissions and key administration posts.

The proclamation calls for a joint session of the Legislature Thursday to vote on Walker’s nominees. Walker cited two constitutional provisions as giving him authority to do so.

One allows a governor to convene the Legislature whenever he deems it in the public interest. The other states the governor is to be responsible “for the faithful execution of the laws.”

Jahna Lindemuth, Walker’s choice for attorney general, and Walker’s pick for commissioner of public safety, Walt Monegan, are among the nominees to be considered.

Lindemuth and Monegan, like other nominees, are serving in their appointed positions but are subject to legislative vetting and approval.

The proclamation came after the state Senate refused House requests to meet in joint session to consider confirmations. The latest Senate refusal came Wednesday.

Senate Rules Committee Chair Kevin Meyer said the Senate majority planned to meet to discuss the proclamation.

When the Senate refused the initial House invitation earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche said a delay in holding a confirmation session, which can consume a significant portion of a day, would allow lawmakers to focus on working on key legislation.

The Legislature blew past the voter-approved 90-day session limit, which was reached April 16. The state constitution allows for regular sessions of up to 121 days.

The state budget and key pieces of a plan to address the state’s multibillion-dollar deficit remain unresolved.

Walker told reporters Wednesday he knew of no reason for further delay in taking up the confirmations. “We think it’s time to bring that to a close,” he said.

Walker issued a similar proclamation in 2015, his first legislative session as governor, but revoked it days later after he said he received assurances from House and Senate leaders about the timing for which they’d hold confirmation votes.

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